As part of a new revenue bill, South Africa’s National Council of Provinces approved a levy of 2.1 cents per gram of sugar, nearly 4 1/2 cents per ounce, in U.S. dollars. The tax will go into effect on April 2018. The bill has already been approved by the National Assembly, the lower house of Parliament.
The South African Sugar Association has argued that more than 3,000 jobs might be lost and that the resultant fall in sugar demand would directly affect smaller cane growers, eventually leading to job losses in the tens of thousands within a decade. The country’s economic development authority participated in the negotiations of the tax.
Per capita, South Africans are not among the top users of sugar, but the country ranks well above most African countries. Other countries that have lower consumption per capita, like Philippines and Indonesia, are also among those considering their own beverage or junk food taxes.